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Uniform Dwelling Code Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is the difference between a Land Use Permit and a Building Permit and an Electrical Permit?

What projects need a Building or Electrical Permit?

How is the permit fee determined?

Where and how do I get permits?

How long does it take to get a Building Permit?

What information is needed to get a Building Permit?

Who can obtain a Building Permit?

Who can do the construction work?

What licenses or registrations are needed?

How many Inspections are required?

How do I schedule an inspection?

How long is the Building Permit good for?

What buildings are covered by the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC)?

What buildings are not covered by the UDC?

What about homes built before 1980?

How is the UDC enforced?

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1. What is the difference between a Land Use Permit and a Building Permit or Electrical Permit?

A Land Use Permit is issued by the Zoning Department of your municipality. It is a permit that allows you to build a structure in a certain spot, meaning it meets all the setback and allowable uses and size requirements.

A Building Permit is issued by the Building Inspector. It is a permit that allows a qualified person  or qualified contractor to build a building or structure within a certain set of building codes and is inspected during the building process by the building inspector.

An Electrical Permit is issued by the Electrical Inspector.  It is a permit that allows a qualified person or qualified contractor to install a new wiring project and the wiring project is inspected during the rough-in and final installation.

2. What projects need a Building or Electrical Permit?

A Building Permit is needed for all new or moved Houses, Modular and Manufactured Home installations. In some municipalities’ additions and alterations, including decks and other things may require a building permit.

An Electrical Permits is required for new wiring at farms; public building, public structures, public premises, Public marina, pier, dock or wharf; places of employment; campgrounds; RV parks; manufactured home communities and non-UDC buildings or structures. Check your municipality in Areas we Serve to find out the specifics or email us at permit@reminspecting.com for more info.

3. How is the permit fee determined?

Typically, the building permit fee is determined by the amount of living space and other space including basement, garage and deck in the house.

Typically, the Electrical permit fee is $50 and the Electrical inspection fee is $80 per hour (minimum 1 hour) plus $1 per mile round trip per inspection

If the work was not completed at the time of the inspection or there are code discrepancies found then there may be a re-inspection fee assessed to come back and re-inspect or there may be a post-inspection fee assessed to administratively process any pictures; texts; emails; phone calls and other work that is done to process any post-inspection work.

Check your municipality in Areas we Serve to find your specific permit fee calculations.

4. Where and how do I get permits?

Each municipality can have a different process to handle its permits. Check your municipality under Areas we Serve to find out your specific permit procedures.

5. How long does it take to get a Building Permit?

If all the required information is supplied with the Permit Application, the permit will usually be issued in 1-3 days. If some of the required information is not supplied, the permit will be held until all of the information is received.

The Wisconsin uniform building permit shall be issued if the requirements for filing and fees are satisfied and the plans have been conditionally approved.

At least 2 sets of plans for all one− and 2−family dwellings shall be submitted to the municipality or authorized UDC inspection agency administering and enforcing this code, for examination and approval at the time the Wisconsin uniform building permit application is filed. Required plans are (1) site plan (2) Floor plan and (3) elevation plan.

Pursuant to s. 145.195, Stats., if the proposed construction requires connection to a private onsite wastewater treatment system, a Wisconsin uniform building permit may not be issued unless conformance with s. SPS 383.25 (2) has first been determined.

Pursuant to s. 101.63 (7), Stats., the name and license number of the Wisconsin master plumber responsible for the installation of plumbing shall be entered on the permit by the issuing entity at the time of issuance

A person applying for a Wisconsin uniform building permit for work covered under ch. SPS 321 or 322 who is not the owner who resides or will reside in the dwelling shall hold or engage, as an employee, a person who holds a certification issued by the department as a dwelling contractor qualifier.

A person applying for a Wisconsin uniform building permit for work covered under ch. SPS 321 or 322 who is not the owner who resides or will reside in the
dwelling shall hold one of the fol- lowing credentials issued by the department:
a. A dwelling contractor certification.
b. A dwelling contractor — restricted certification.
c. A dwelling contractor financial responsibility certification.
d. A dwelling contractor financial responsibility — restricted certification. (a) Subject to par. (b), no person may obtain a building permit unless the person annually obtains from the department a certificate of financial responsibility showing that the person is in compliance with sub. (2), completes the continuing education requirements described under sub. (1m), and furnishes to the issuer of the permit proof of completion of those continuing education requirements. (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to an owner of a dwelling who resides or will reside in the dwelling and who applies for a building permit to perform work on that dwelling. back to top

6. What information is needed to get a Building Permit?

You will need a Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application, contractor names and certification numbers, a plot plan, floor plans, an elevation plan, an energy calculation and possibly a Land Use permit and a Sanitary permit plus others. For a more detailed checklist, please check your municipality in Areas we Serve. Each municipality may have a different set of requirements.

 

7. Who can obtain a Building  or Electrical Permit?

The Building Contractor or the Homeowner can obtain the Building Permit. Whoever signs the building permit application is ultimately responsible for the completion of the work. If a homeowner signs the permit, they may be responsible for any injury or damages that occur. See the last page of the Wisconsin Uniform Building Permit Application for a cautionary statement.

Pursuant to s. 101.654 (1) (a), Stats., no person may obtain a building permit for a one− or 2−family dwelling unless the person complies with all of the following, except as provided under s. 101.654 (1) (b) and (c) 2., Stats. (a) Holds one of the following credentials issued by the department: 1. A dwelling contractor certification. 2. A dwelling contractor — restricted certification. (b) Holds or engages, as an employee, a person who holds a certification issued by the department as a dwelling contractor qualifier.

dwelling contractor qualifier certification is to provide proof of fulfilling the continuing education obligations to the issuers of building permits as required under s. 101.654 (1) (a), Stats. Paragraph (a) does not apply to an owner of a dwelling who resides or will reside in the dwelling and who applies for a building permit to perform work on that dwelling.

The Electrical permit – SPS 316.012 no electrical wiring project may commence unless the owner of the premises where the installation is to occur or their agent holds a permit from the designated inspection agency,  REM Inspecting LLC is a designated inspection agency for several municipalities, check Areas we Serve to find out more.

8. Who can do the Building or Electrical work?

The homeowner can do work on his own building, except for Electrical and Plumbing.

Pursuant to s. 101.862 Stats., (1)  No person may engage in the business of installing, repairing, or maintaining electrical wiring unless the person is licensed as an electrical contractor by the department. Pursuant to s. 101.862 Stats., (2) No person may install, repair, or maintain electrical wiring unless the person is licensed as an electrician by the department or unless the person is enrolled as a registered electrician by the department. Pursuant to s. 101.862 Stats., (3) No person who is not a master electrician may install, repair, or maintain electrical wiring unless a master electrician is at all times responsible for the person’s work.

Pursuant to s. 145.06 (1), Stats., no person may engage in or work at plumbing in the state unless licensed to do so by the department

Pursuant to s. 145.06 (2), Stats., no person shall install plumbing unless at all times a licensed master plumber is in charge, who shall be responsible for proper installation.

 

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9. How many Inspections are required?

For a new house, there are usually 8-10 inspections during the building process. A colored sheet of paper will accompany the Building Permit entitled Inspection Notice. This document will explain the different times that the inspections need to take place.

For an electrical inspection there are usually 3, underground rough-in inspection, above ground rough-in inspection and a final inspection.

10. How do I schedule an inspection?

Email REM Inspecting LLC at inspection@reminspecting.com or text 715-497-3458 to schedule an inspection. The inspector has 2 business days after the business day of notification to make the inspection unless other arrangements can be made.  The 2 business days does not apply to electrical service, they must be inspected prior to energizing the meter.

11. How long is the Building or Electrical Permit good for?

In most areas a building permit is good for two years to get the building outer shell complete.

Electrical permits are good for 12 months

Check your municipality under Areas we Serve to get your specific permit length.

12. What buildings are covered by the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC)?

The Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) covers all 1980 and newer one and two family homes, Manufactured homes built after 2007 and additions to post 1980 homes. Some municipalities include UDC code for all additions and alterations for all buildings including detached buildings or structures. Check your municipality under Areas we Serve to find the specific information.

13. What buildings are not covered by the UDC?

Check your municipality under Areas we Serve to find the specific information.

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14. What about homes built before 1980?

TheWisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code was established in 1980. No building code was required for homes built before 1980 but there was an electrical code. In some municipalities, additions to pre-1980 built homes will need a permit and inspections but only for the new portions. The old portion does not have to be brought into code compliance unless it is altered from the original condition.

Any new electrical wiring added to a pre-1980 home is required to be installed to the current code and is required to be inspected.

Check your municipality under Areas we Serve to see what is required for you.

 15. How is the building and electrical inspections enforced?

Since January 1, 2005, every municipality is required to have a Building Inspector and as of January 1, 2020 Electrical Inspector.

There are three different ways a municipality can hire an Inspector. They can have a (1) Certified Inspection Employee. They can have a (2) State appointed Inspector or the municipality can (3) appoint their own Independent Inspection Agency, such as REM Inspecting LLC, to do the Permitting and Inspection Process.

Every building permit will have inspections throughout the construction process. The owner or the builder will need to email or text or call for those inspections that are required by the Inspection Notice sheet.  See s. SPS 320.10 regarding the inspections for the construction of new one− and 2− family dwellings

SPS 316.013 [Electrical] Inspections. (1) Except as provided under s. 101.875 (2), Stats., [all] electrical wiring installations shall be subject to inspection.

 

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